Social Responsibility Writer's Prize 2007 - School Entry - First Prize

Emma Smith - Hunter Valley Grammar School

Annual Business Report for Aussie Wandabaa

Executive Summary

This business report is written for Aussie Wandabaa for the year ending 30 June 2007. Aussie Wandabaa is a medium-sized catering business, based in Newcastle, NSW, who focus their culinary abilities on food which is truly Australian; ranging from modern Aussie favourites, through colonial foods and gastronomic icons, to the ancient tradition of Aboriginal bush food. Our mission is to provide true Australian food to the multicultural public, in a supportive environment which operates under ecologically sustainable terms both in the community and in the national/global workplace. The name Aussie Wandabaa is derived from the NSW Kamilaroi Aboriginal word wandabaa, meaning ghost or spirit. This means to us, the essence of all Australian public as a culmination of their history and culture, and the spirit which determines who we are as Australian people.

This summary will outline how Aussie Wandabaa have implemented socially responsible business practice in our approach to service delivery and all other aspects of the company within the last 12 months, as well as plans for the future.

Beginning with the sourcing of raw ingredients, the Resource Manager at Aussie Wandabaa is employed to investigate farmers within the area of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, for those that supply the desired foodstuffs and also are willing to cooperate with our company's personal ethical code of conduct. This code of conduct states that:

  • All foodstuffs are used are to be in geographic season;
  • All transport of materials is not to exceed the local area, and will be done using environmentally friendly vehicles owned by Aussie Wandabaa. Transport packaging used is to be minimal and recyclable;
  • All fruit and vegetable matter (or other foodstuffs originating from animals, e.g. sea organisms) is to be taken from sustainable flocks, given substantial (unaltered) food, and developed in a safe environment which fulfils ALL of their needs as living things.

All food wastage is composted and traded back to the local farmers from which it was sourced.

After sourcing and transportation, the Head Chef at Aussie Wandabaa oversees all food preparation in our kitchen headquarters. These facilities are ecologically viable, supplementing electric power sources with gas and solar power. The menu available for luncheons, meetings and functions has been designed by the Head Chef with care in regard to:

  • Additives (no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives are added);
  • Fresh quality (preparation is simple, fresh and reliable); and
  • Nutritive value (no fried or high saturated-fat food is used).

The employees at Aussie Wandabaa, whether chefs, management, or service and waiting staff; are under Australian government agreement of salary, holiday leave and workplace safety, as well as:

  • Undertaking thorough and regular training for food preparation and serving in the form of traineeship or otherwise;
  • Participating in quarterly team building operations and events outside the work environment to build unity and morale;
  • Operating under flexible work hours (part-time, full-time or casual) to give benefits of time negotiation to employees with other commitments such as family or education;
  • An annual Christmas party as well as a gift from the employer;
  • Having an influential voice in the design of the staff uniforms; and
  • Being covered under our no harassment policy, which operates within the staff dynamics and also in reference to clientele.

The outcomes for this particular staff planning scheme for the employees is that they feel an affiliation with Aussie Wandabaa, enjoying working in the friendly and relaxed environment, as well as appreciating the benefits their employer has willingly given and in turn, being more loyal as their needs are happily met.

The EEO (Equal Employment opportunity) Principles are implemented within the staff dynamics; as the age, sex, religion and ethnicity of our employees is widely diverse. In reference to this, a sizeable percentage of our staff at Aussie Wandabaa are of Indigenous Australian cultural heritage; these valuable members of staff are key factors in the creation of dishes similar to traditional Aboriginal food and custom; as well as being important social links to the Indigenous community. This positioning of young, talented members of the community aids them with a guaranteed place in the workforce, and also with intercultural communication and integration into modern Australian culture which does not compromise traditional links and customs.

As a company with objective interests in the local community, Aussie Wandabaa initiates and supports a number of community projects within the local area.

These local community programs include:

  • Education programs within local primary and secondary schools on the subject of Australian food and Aboriginal culture, which inform the younger generation on the importance of our cultural heritage, understanding and tolerance;
  • Many opportunities for students to undertake work experience, apprenticeships and mentoring programs on a practical basis to raise interest and increase the quality of prospective employees for the hospitality industry;
  • A selection list of honourable projects which, as part of employee agreement, all staff are required to take part in one of their choosing, at least once a year.
  • Extensive work within Aboriginal communities which is focused around sustainability, education on a two-way scale, and social problems such as unemployment.

As well as these valuable and socially responsible projects on a local scale, Aussie Wandabaa are also active members of the Australian Hotels and Hospitality Association, lobbying the Australian government and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand about issues we feel could be improved in the workplace.

The outcomes for Aussie Wandabaa as a socially responsible business is ecological sustainability, a conscience for positive action on local and global issues, and an environment in which our business is efficient and welcoming. The organisation and job distribution of all of our service deliveries, combined with a passion for the job, is what makes Aussie Wandabaa confident for a maintenance and improvement of these services in the future.


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